Written by Rachel List, Designer/Photographer
You probably haven’t thought about the footer of your website much. Generally, the important information is placed at the top of your website or above the fold which leads to the inevitable, but incorrect assumption that the footer content is the least important. Your websites footer should be considered as important as the header, and here’s why:
It’s on every page:
Yes, it’s at the bottom, but the content in the footer is displayed on every page of your website. You should take advantage of this and include content and links that are helpful and engage your users.
Users know to expect useful information in the footer such as quick links to important content & contact information. The footer can also be a good location to engage your users further with social media, news or blog feeds, and contact or email signup forms.
It’s helpful for navigation:
The footer is an important navigation tool for users who expect to find important links. Good footer design is simple and makes navigation easy to find and use. You should include links to important and commonly used pages on your website.
It’s a good place for contact Information:
The footer is a great place to include contact information or even just simplified contact information and links to more complete information. Contact information can include a contact form, phone number, fax number, maps, directions and address information.
Common information included in a Footer:
Social Media Icons
Social Media or Blog Feeds
Email or Newsletter Signups
Awards and Certifications
Call to Action
Some things to avoid in your Footer:
There are a few ways footers should not be used. They shouldn’t be used as an afterthought or for adding keywords to your website. It used to be a common practice to pad a websites keywords in the footer. This practice has been largely abandoned after search engines started penalizing sites using those techniques in their SEO rankings. You should also use discretion in the number of links included. While larger footers have become very popular the footer should not include a link to every page on your website. So, what’s the right number of links to include in your footer? There is no rule of thumb to follow for this. Try to stick to a number of key headers and links which are the most relevant and logical to users when navigating your site.
The bottom line:
Website footers are important and can be a helpful and much used section of your website. Don’t discount their impact when considering how they factor into a design.